I decided to take a tactical shotgun course at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute but flinched at the thought of the repeated hammering to my pectoralis minor so I began research on recoil reducing shotgun stocks. There are several on the market but the lion’s share incorporates a pistol grip, which is something I personally dislike on a shotgun. Different strokes…
A stock sawed off to the natural curve of a standard curved shotgun grip works better to absorb the shock to one’s wrist than a standalone pistol grip. The Mossberg 590 Shockwave and the Remington 870 Tac-14 short barrel shotguns both sport a more horizontal grip. I have a titanium wrist so this scenario holds a particular interest to me but I have read where others, even shoulder shooting with a full pistol-grip/shoulder-stock combo, find that a portion of the recoil finds its way to one’s wrist. Some folks are traditional and dislike the added easy-to-snag protrusion of the pistol grip but my forebearance is due to pain avoidence.
My research led me to one recoil reducing shotgun stock that did not have a pistol grip — the Phoenix Technology Kicklite found at kicklitestocks.com. I purchased mine from Amazon but I went one step further and bought the Limbsaver recoil pad. Phoenix Technology claims that their Kicklite stock absorbs 40 to 50 percent of felt recoil and the Limbsaver recoil pad claims a 70 percent reduction.
I chose my Remington 870 X 12-gauge pump action shotgun for modification. The removal of the old stock and installation of the new Kicklite was relatively simple. Once the assembly was complete, I planted the butt into my shoulder and pulled back hard on the shotgun. I found the spring action to be easy at first and progressively stiffer. I was unable to bottom out the springs by hand so I took this to be a good sign.
For the field test, I used a combination of high base buckshot rounds and standard slugs. I would like to mention here that in my opinion, standard slugs are adequate for target practice and perhaps human self-defense. The projectile is nothing but a cup of soft lead. I once shot a moose in the neck at about seventy-five feet with one of these types of rounds and it did little to phase the animal. The moose turned and looked at me as if to ask, “What’s the matter with you, chump?” I ended up dispatching animal with a .41 Magnum pistol. The slug had flattened out beneath the hide and stopped before striking the vertebrae. After that, I swore to never carry standard slugs as bear protection rounds but I have found Sabot Slugs to be very effective ammunition. Some folks prefer rifled slugs. For a comparison, check out this article, Rifled Slugs vs. Sabot Slugs.
The recoil reduction was great. I found a little more recoil than shooting low recoil rounds with a standard stock but far less than the usual kick from high powered shotgun shells. After about twenty rounds, I began to experience some soreness. I then removed the rubber recoil pad and added the Limbsaver recoil pad. After another thirty rounds, I felt like I could shoot all day. There was a slight bit of instability in the slip-on recoil pad but it was nothing I couldn’t live with and well worth the minimal inconvenience. I felt no awkwardness in the action of the Kicklite stock and the only negative aspect I could find would be the increased cost I would now spend in ammunition because it made the shotgun more enjoyable to shoot.
To summarize, one could save themselves a lot of shoulder pain and wallet strain by using the Limbsaver recoil pad by itself for under $30.00. If you don’t mind spending another eighty bucks, go for the combination and get the Kicklite stock. When used together, they make an unbeatable pair.